Posted by News Express | 3 December 2014 | 2,932 times
Michael Adebolajo, one of the two men found guilty of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby, has lost a court of appeal challenge against his conviction.
He had argued for his conviction to be quashed on the grounds that he was waging war against Britain.
Michael Adebolajo asked three senior judges to allow him to appeal against his conviction and whole-life sentence for killing Rigby outside Woolwich barracks in London in 2012.
His barrister, David Gottlieb, told the court of appeal in London that Adebolajo “has consistently claimed that the reason he killed Fusilier Rigby was solely because he was a serving British soldier.”
“According to the first defendant, he killed a soldier in the course of fighting a war. He said he had no intention of harming or killing anyone else. It was part of his plan, according to his police interviews and evidence, that after the killing he would wait at the scene until an armed response unit arrived with the intention of being himself killed in what he described as an act of martyrdom.”
Adebolajo was seeking to challenge both his conviction and a whole-life sentence, which condemns him to die behind bars. His accomplice, Michael Adebowale, is applying to have his murder sentence reduced from a whole-life prison term.
Shaven-headed Adebowale, wearing a long beard and a black prison issue jumper, appeared on television screens dotted around the courtroom from Broadmoor psychiatric hospital.
Both cases are being heard by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, sitting at the court of appeal with Lady Justice Hallett and Mr Justice Openshaw.
The British-born Muslim converts ran 25-year-old Fusilier Rigby down in a car before hacking him to death with a meat cleaver and knives in a frenzied attack.
They dumped the body of the father-of-one in the middle of the road near Woolwich barracks in south-east London on 22 May last year.
Adebolajo and Adebowale lay in wait near the barracks and chose to kill Fusilier Rigby after assuming he was a soldier because he was wearing a Help for Heroes hooded top and carrying a camouflage rucksack.
Amid tight security at court, Rigby’s family filled two rows of seats as lawyers for the killers outlined their appeals.
Adebolajo refused to appear on video link from HMP Frankland for the hearing.
•Text courtesy of Guardian of London. Photo shows convicted murderer Michael Adebolajo.
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